The Dot Academy

How to grow your business on Instagram

The days have certainly passed that you were able to make money just by having a good functional webshop. However it’s, of course, a great way to start (and still rather necessary), your business must also exist on social media in order to grow brand awareness, strengthen the relationship with your customers and fanbase and more importantly spot opportunities for growth. 

For a lot of fashion and lifestyle brands, Instagram has proven to be a real money-maker. However, just posting a couple of pretty pictures sadly won’t do the trick. We as Dotters firmly believe that if you leverage the app correctly it’s a super powerful tool to grow your business organically. We’ve listed some key steps to take 

Quality over quantity.
Of course, reaching that 10k number is a goal an-sich for a lot of brands because it will enable you to unlock the ‘oh-so-magical’ swipe-up feature. However, when it comes to growing your follower base, the quality of your followers definitely goes over the quantity. Now we all know that just buying followers is a very stupid move to make, not only will the Instagram algorithm detect it. More importantly, you are fooling yourself, cause those fake followers who won’t engage with you – leaving you in the blank on what content speaks best to your audience. And even worse they will never buy from you. Point being: having an Instagram account with a lot of random followers will have a super low conversion rate. While an Instagram account with less but qualitative followers will definitely have a higher conversion rate. So guess who’s making the most money?

Niche it down
As a starting point, you should know who your ideal client is, what problem do you solve for them? PS: you could look at some profiles and identify what content they engage with, which profiles do they follow? Then start creating content that speaks to them in particular. Don’t be afraid to be specific, or to talk about specific pain points you know your client is having. Remember: If you are trying to talk to everyone, you are actually speaking to no-one. So just try to create content that is relevant to your niche and leave the rest of the world behind. Once you start talking very specifically to your niche audience you’ll notice engagement going up cause guess what? Once they start to engage with you your customer’s trust will grow which means they will be far more likely to buy from you.

Leverage new features. 

Instagram in particular want’s to continuously increase the time their users spend in the app. They do this by enabling new features like stories, Instagram reels, Instagram live, Instagram Shop, … Brands that use and adopt these new features as part of their social strategy will be favoured by the Instagram algorithm, which in return will increase your profile’s reach. Win-win right?

Foster engagement
The more engagement your Instagram account gets the better it will rank in the algorithm and thus the more reach you will get. Some tips to foster engagement:

  • Actually talk to your audience:
    Ask questions, opinions and feedback. This will only strengthen the relationship with your audience, as they will feel their opinion matters. You could engage in these conversations by setting up polls, using stickers or just ask them to drop a comment. 
  • Get personal
    If you want an engaged audience, you should be willing to get personal. There’s nothing that speaks more to people than personal stories, stories they can relate to. So don’t be afraid to show the people behind the brand. 
  • Don’t be too product-focused
    As said in order to create a committed follower base, you simply cannot be too product-focused. Your content should clearly balance product shots with other content that speaks to your niche audience.

Content quality is king where content distribution is the queen
The quality of your content is of the utmost importance. You may have the best marketing tactics and strategies and even the biggest advertising budgets if your content sucks you will never be able to grow your business on Instagram. So dare to invest in good content. A good rule of thumb would be to spend 80% of your time on creating your content and 20% of your time on the distribution.

Commit to doing the work
Growing an audience, especially a committed audience doesn’t happen overnight. Consistency is absolutely key. Quick fixes will not work just like fairytales don’t exist. But the ones who put their time and effort into it in a consistent way will be able to turn their Instagram account into a money-making machine. 

This post is also available in: Dutch